The Ludwig Scale for Female Pattern Hair Loss
Understanding the Causes of Hair Loss for Women
Much of the hair loss experienced by women is caused by androgenetic alopecia. This hereditary condition begins with thinning at the hairline and can spread across the entire scalp. Women with androgenetic alopecia usually have hair loss limited to thinning at the front, sides or crown. Complete baldness rarely occurs in women.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that occurs equally in women and men. The immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing patches of baldness on the scalp or body.
Tightly pulled hairstyles and too much shampooing or dyeing can break hair and make it fall out. This constant stress on the hair often causes lasting damage.
This type of hair loss is often related to significant life events like pregnancy, major surgery, or extreme weight loss. Hair lost due to telogen effluvium is typically shed in clumps or handfuls. Reducing stress and anxiety can sometimes slow or stop this type of hair loss.
Thyroid diseases are common in women, and hair loss is an unfortunate side effect. When the body has too much or too little thyroid hormone, normal functions of the body like hair growth are interrupted.
Hair loss caused by compulsive hair-pulling is known as Trichotillomania. This condition is more prevalent in women and can cause many manifestations of hair loss.
Other Medical Causes
An array of medical causes, from prescription medications to lupus, can lead to hair loss. Chemotherapy is one of the most well known medical causes of hair loss, but thinning hair can signal a wide variety of underlying health issues.